Who can be nominated?

Individual Volunteers & Volunteer Duos

Anyone can nominate a volunteer. You can nominate an individual volunteer or volunteer duo in any one of the 9 categories listed below.

Volunteers Groups

You can nominate a group of volunteers for their collective achievements, there is a small group category (3-20 volunteers), a large group category (20+ volunteers) and a COVID-19 group category.

Volunteer Managers

This category celebrates those who lead volunteers and manage volunteer programmes. Behind Ireland’s thousands of volunteers lie the equally dedicated individuals responsible for their recruitment, training, support, recognition and management. These are the people who inspire volunteers and enable an environment where volunteering can thrive. This category is different as nominees can be in either a paid or unpaid position (in all other categories activities must be undertaken voluntarily without pay).

All nominations are adjudicated by a shortlisting team and a panel of judges. Three awardees are selected in each category and one truly exceptional volunteer is named Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year.

Awards Categories

This category celebrates the dedicated volunteers who make Ireland’s wonderful community festivals and events possible and those who support the many art & cultural activities happening across the country. Here are a few examples of volunteer activities that would fit into this category: Volunteer at a community festival; Participate in a local theatre group; Volunteer at a museum or art gallery; Support a local cultural institution; Organise volunteer cultural tours; Share their time to support community choirs; Comhaltas or a music society; Volunteer to teach art or music in a community setting; Showcase the diversity of art and culture in Ireland; or take part in any other volunteer activity that supports art, culture or festivals!

This category recognises those who volunteer to bring about change, those who campaign to raise awareness or funding for the causes they care about and those who hope to inspire positive shifts in Irish society. Here are a few examples of volunteer activities that would fit into this category: Campaign to raise awareness of a certain cause; Fundraise to support a charity; Stand up for a marginalised group in society; Advocate for a local community group; Organise a campaign to bring about political change; Encourage and support diversity in Irish communities; Volunteer with a campaign for social change; Champion the importance of diversity in Ireland; or take part in any other volunteer activity that is or encourages active citizenship!

This category honours the devoted volunteers who support children and youth in Irish society. Here are a few examples of volunteer activities that would fit into this category: Volunteer at a local youth group; Act as a mentor to at risk children; Participate in a local afterschool group; Volunteer to share their skills and teach young people; Organise activities for children in need of additional support; Share their time with a children’s support line; Support a charity that advocates for children’s causes; Facilitate skills based or social programmes for youth; or take part in any other volunteer activity that supports children or young people!

This category celebrates volunteers who dedicate their time to caring for animals and/or their local environment. Here are a few examples of volunteer activities that would fit into this category: Care and advocate for Ireland’s wildlife and native fauna; Participate in a Tidy Towns project or local litter pick; Volunteer at an animal shelter; Support a community garden or park; Organise a green agriculture initiative; Share their time to support guide dogs or assistance animals; Take part in environmental protection projects; Champion a sustainability programme; or take part in any other volunteer activity that supports the environment or animals!

This category recognises volunteers who are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of people across Ireland including those who provide supports for people with additional needs or disabilities. Here are a few examples of volunteer activities that would fit into this category: Run a support group for those affected by mental health; Volunteer with a charity that supports people with a disability; Support an organisation that advocates for those with a certain illness or condition; Participate in a peer support group for those effected by cancer; Volunteer at an addiction support programme; Volunteer with a day care centre, nursing home or independent living community; Provide activities and classes designed to include people with a disability or long term illness; Accompany patients to hospital appointments; or take part in any other volunteer activity that advances people’s health or well-being!

This category commends volunteers who strive to keep their communities safe by providing volunteer emergency services, safety awareness and training. Here are a few examples of volunteer activities that would fit into this category: Provide volunteer emergency services in their community; Volunteer with an emergency service or fist aid charity; Support an organisation that advocates safety awareness and training; Volunteer to teach first aid or provide safety training; Provide support to survivors of domestic violence; Drives patients in rural areas to medical appointments; Are a member of the Civil Defence; or take part in any other volunteer activity that enhances safety or protects their communities in emergencies!

This category recognises volunteers who strive to make sure there is a place for everyone in Irish society and those who are devoted to supporting their community, whether that community is a county, an at risk group or their local neighbourhood. Here are a few examples of volunteer activities that would fit into this category: Volunteer at homeless support service; Organise community groups in their town; Support and celebrates an international community in Ireland; Volunteer in a community partnership or other local association; Share their time to support and welcome asylum seekers or refugees; Befriend older people living alone; Volunteer to teach sign language throughout the community; Showcase the diversity of communities in Ireland; or take part in any other volunteer activity that supports their local community!

This category celebrates the huge volume of volunteers who share their time to support sport and recreational activities in their communities. Here are a few examples of volunteer activities that would fit into this category: Volunteer at a community sports club; Coach a youth sports team; Volunteer with an organisation that promotes diversity in sport; Support a local recreation centre; Organise volunteer led hiking or outdoor activities; Share their time to support community recreational activities; Volunteer to teach inclusive physical activities; Take part in a committee for a local sports programme; or take part in any other volunteer activity that supports sport or recreation!